THOMASVILLE – After placing a moratorium on utility disconnects in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the city of Thomasville resumed utility disconnections for non-payment on Monday. City Manager Alan Carson said that while the decision to resume disconnections was difficult, staff remains committed to assisting customers throughout the crisis.
“We know this has been a tremendously difficult time for our community, and we are pleased that we were able to work with our customers to suspend utility disconnections for the last four months,” City Manager said Alan Carson said. “However, as our community begins to recover from the effects of this pandemic, the city of Thomasville must also resume our normal billing and collections procedures, just as many other utility providers across the country have done.”
Utility customers with an outstanding balance have been contacted directly to inform them of their account status and to discuss payment arrangements, Sheryl Sealy, the executive director for Marketing and Customer Services, said.
“Our priority is assisting our customers so that they continue to have access to important utility services,” Sealy said. “Any customer who may be facing financial hardship is encouraged to communicate with us now so that we can avoid any service disruptions.
“We realize that getting back to normal may take some time for some of our customers, and we are here to help. Our staff will be happy to work with customers to make payment arrangements or to establish a payment plan for any past due balances.”
Beginning mid-March, the moratorium for utility disconnections began in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since that time, utility services for customers were not subject to disconnection for non-payment, and unpaid balances did not incur late fees or penalties. According to Sealy, customers experiencing financial hardships have various community resources that may be able to assist them.
“Community organizations such as the Community Action Council, the Salvation Army, and churches often have funds available to assist citizens that are experiencing a financial crisis and require assistance to cover the cost of basic necessities such as utilities,” she said. “Calling us now will allow our staff to help connect customers who may need assistance with some of these community resources.”
City of Thomasville Utilities customers who wish to assist those with financial hardships can also take advantage of the Project Share program.
“COVID-19 has shown both the resiliency and incredible sense of compassion that lies within the Thomasville community,” Carson said. “Our community has been strong during these times and has helped each other through this crisis. Project Share is another wonderful opportunity for those experiencing hardship to seek assistance and for community members to assist others in need.”
Project Share, which is administered through a partnership with the Salvation Army, allows customers to add contributions to their monthly bill that will be used to provide financial relief to others in our community.
“The Project Share program is designed to help Georgians with basic necessities such as housing, prescribed medications, and utilities,” Sealy said. “Right now, there are many in our community who may need a little bit of extra help, so the idea of a program that allows neighbors to help their fellow neighbor is a very good thing.”
“We understand this has been a very hard time for many citizens in our community,” Carson said. “The city of Thomasville is here for our community, as together we navigate our way forward to overcome this unprecedented time of crisis.”
The city of Thomasville has established a special page on Thomasville.org dedicated to the City’s COVID-19 response. For more information on an account, call (229) 227-7001.